What is Tennis Elbow?
It is a repetitive stress injury of later epicondyle and therefore also known as lateral epicondylitis. Though epicondylitis is a misnomer; because many times there is no inflammation, there is degenerative or calcific tendinopathy of the extensor tendons of the wrist. In this condition, the tendons that hold the bones and muscles together on the outside of the elbow are inflamed. Although tennis elbow is related to playing tennis, it may be caused by any other repetitive forearm movements (Durning et al.,2020).
What are the symptoms of Tennis Elbow?
The patient presents with pain on the outer side of the elbow more when there is the twisted movement of wrist like opening a door handle. On examination, there will be tenderness over the lateral epicondyle, and resisted extension of the wrist will be painful.
How to confirm the diagnosis?
Clinical presentation is enough, still, ultrasonography is the best to confirm the diagnosis. There will be degenerative tendinopathy or tendinosis. Rarely there may be tendinitis or calcific tendinopathy.
What are home remedies for Tennis Elbow?
In order to treat tennis elbow, any individual must avoid medical treatment which could include physical therapy especially with the help of a physician. There are some home remedies that help to reduce inflammation and relieve pain (Durning et al.,2020).
Rest the elbow:
It is a very simple and effective treatment for severe, intense irritation and inflammation in the elbow. Resting and not subjecting the arm to the activities that increase the pain and inflammation can help to ease symptoms of tennis elbow
Ice the elbow:
Pain and inflammation can also be reduced with ice packs. Wrap the ice in a towel or cloth in order to avoid the direct effect of ice on the skin. Hold the ice pack for at least 15 minutes and repeat this treatment 3 times a day.
Compress and give support:
RICE protocol (rest, ice, compression, elevate) is mostly at the top of the recommendation for tennis elbow. Cover the elbow with a compression elbow and this will allow your fingers to move (Durning et al.,2020).
Physiotherapy and exercises for Tennis Elbow:
Tennis elbow is common in individuals who play sports such as squash and tennis, but people can also develop it from many other activities where people have to twist and grip such as turning a screwdriver. There are some exercises that help to ease the symptoms, relieve pain and reduce inflammation (Wheeler et al.,2021).
- Touch the fingers with the thumb and put a rubber band around the thumb and fingers.
- Slowly open the fingers and thumb and then close it.
- Repeat up to 20 times.
- Hold a soft rubber ball or tennis ball in the hand.
- Squeeze the ball and then release.
- Repeat for 20 times (Wheeler et al.,2021).
Wrist flexor stretch:
- Hold the arm straight out in the way that the palm faces up and the elbow remains straight.
- Hold the fingers with the other hand and bend them till the end of the range so that you can feel them in your inner forearm.
- Hold for 10 seconds.
- Repeat 3 to 4 times a day.
Wrist Extensor Stretch:
- Just like in wrist flexor stretch, hold the arm straight out but palm faces down.
- Hold the fingers with the other hand and bend them back towards the body. Till the end of the range so you can feel it in your outer forearm.
- Hold for 10 seconds.
- Repeat 3 to 4 times (Wheeler et al.,2021).
What are the interventions managements?
When the condition is not improved with exercises and ice, interventions are needed.
- Local steroid injection was the most common. Earlier it was done by blind technique, but nowadays done under USG to minimise steroid dose and increase accuracy.
- Platelet rich plasma (PRP) injection- PRP injection under ultrasound guidance is the preferred treatment and it regenerate the degenerated tendon.
Wheeler, T. (2021). Do I Need Physical Therapy for Tennis Elbow?. Retrieved 26 May 2021, from https://www.webmd.com/pain-management/physical-therapy-for-tennis-elbow
Vroomen, M. (2021). 7 Home Remedies for Tennis Elbow. Retrieved 26 May 2021, from https://www.healthgrades.com/right-care/bones-joints-and-muscles/7-home-remedies-for-tennis-elbow